Last week it was announced that Michigan kicker Brendan Gibbons had been expelled from school due to a violation of the school's Student Sexual Conduct Policy. The incident for which Gibbons was expelled allegedly occurred on Nov. 22, 2009. That same day an unnamed Michigan football player was arrested after a female student reported that he had sexually assaulted her at a party.
Understandably there was some backlash that a player who was accused of sexual assault wasn't dismissed until four years after the alleged incident, and on Monday Hoke issued a statement that helped explain why so much time passed before Gibbons was dismissed from the team.
“Michigan Athletics has no influence over any part of a review of a potential violation of University's student code of conduct — not the process, the investigation or the timing of the resolution. In general, while we may be aware of an ongoing proceeding, we always strive to balance transparency with privacy.
“Our usual approach is to not issue discipline related to a student's standing on the team before the University's process runs its course and the outcome has been determined. We will always respect the rights and confidentiality of the process and the parties involved. One way we do that is by not discussing the details of student disciplinary matters.
“So while I would like to be more forthcoming, I can't provide any details due to federal privacy laws and University policies.
“We talk every day with our kids about the importance of character and integrity. It's something we take very seriously, how we're going to do things the right way. We talk daily about your name and what it means. That's why you get into this as a coach, to help young men grow and learn and mature. We're held to those standards, and we hold them to that. I think I've made clear our expectations, and our actions and discipline involving incidents in the past have reflected that. And those standards will not be compromised.”
On Nov. 20, 2013 Gibbons received a letter from Michigan that it had been determined there is a "preponderance of evidence" suggesting he committed sexual assault. Gibbons would then play in Michigan's loss to Iowa a few days later, though he missed the Ohio State game with an injury.
On Dec. 19 Gibbons received a letter telling him he would be expelled from the school the next day, which he was. On Dec. 23 Brady Hoke announced that Gibbons would not be with the team for its bowl game against Kansas State due to a family matter.